As intercessors we are often among the first to feel the heartbeat of God. Having ears to hear His voice, we tune in and pray in partnership with Him, standing in the gap and praying for God’s best over an individual, a situation, a group. We dialogue with the Holy Spirit and study to show ourselves approved so that we have insight with understanding on how to pray, who to pray for, what to pray over, and when.
Because of this we may have all felt the darkness of this present age closing in. People are becoming more fearful and divided. Many are asking questions. Many have left the church. As intercessors, how can we be praying about this?
These dark days will see 4 major camps of negative reactions towards God from those who do not fully understand what may be going on around them:
- Fear – It is easy to see that people are fearful in these days, wondering what in the world is happening. When trials and tribulation of any kind close in, we sometimes respond to God out of three main types of fear. There is a “reverential fear or awe” (such as Acts 9:31); then there is “terror, dread or phobia” (such as 1 John 4:18); and there is also “timidity or insecurity” (such as 2 Timothy 1:7). While we pray for the first (reverential fear), what we see most are the latter two.
Satan uses these latter two fears as a means to shame, divide, scatter, isolate, and immobilize. He shames by establishing a standard that others must follow and then uses that shame to silence us into not speaking out; he divides by planting the seed that others are different; he uses our differences to then scatter (as opposed to unite). Once scattered, we are easily isolated; and once isolated, it is easy for us to be immobilized. Remember, perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), and God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Offense – many may begin to believe that God’s leadership cannot be trusted… “How can a loving God…”. Becoming offended by the way they perceive God working on their behalf (or not), or of the trials and turbulence closing in, displays a lack of trust in God’s leadership through challenging times and the hope and promise we have in Him, causing them to turn away (see John 6:66). Psalms 119:137-138,156, and 165 tells us life is found in the revelation of His judgements, for they are always true and fair, and for those who delight themselves in Him and love His ways, nothing shall offend them.
- Disconnection –Anything or everything outside of God Himself that allows people the opportunity to “self-medicate” in order to escape outward circumstances or pressures they are facing rather than facing and embracing reality through the strength of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 21:34). This one can also be thought of as “dissipation”, which the dictionary defines as “a wasting by misuse”, [such as] the dissipation of a fortune”, or “mental distraction; amusement; diversion”. In terms of physics/mechanics, it goes on to define dissipation as “a process in which energy is used or lost without accomplishing useful work”. Wow, talk about a waste of energy – that last part says it all!
- Deception – If the truth sets us free, lies hold us captive! People want to hear and believe good news, even when the good news offers a false hope. They want their ears tickled, not their toes stepped on. Scripture warns us that in the latter times there will be those who fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1). The risk would be buying into another gospel (see Galatians 1:6-10). Deceptive narratives focus on universalism and inclusion, and can range from a variety of things from religious to those things considered a religion in itself, such as climate change or any other “good cause” – anything that moves the focus onto itself and away from redemption through Christ (see 1 Timothy 4:1).
The most powerful prayers we can pray is when we pray scripture out loud. Not only for us individually because our hearts tend to align with what we hear being spoken, but also for others, because we boldly speak it out so that Satan hears it (James 4:7 – resist the devil and he will flee from you)!
As Christians, all authority has been given to us and there is power in prayer to move heaven and earth when we align with His purpose and for His glory. Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 10 engaged warrior angels. Just like him, Heaven’s army is waiting to engage with a bride in full partnership with Jesus! What we bind here is bound in heaven, and what we lose here is loosed in heaven (see Matthew 18:18).
Perseverance in Prayer
There is much to be said for long suffering. Of perseverance in prayer, pastor and author Dutch Sheets once said:
There are several reasons for the need of perseverance in prayer. Even when asking in faith and for the right reasons, patience and persistence are often needed. Some of the reasons are:
- God may have a “fullness of time” He has chosen for the answer, a “Kairos”/right time that hasn’t yet arrived.
- Our development – He may be using the delay to work in us.
- Other peoples’ actions or choices could be delaying prayers we pray for them.
I believe the Lord is saying through all of this “Stick with Me, don’t give up!
Times of corporate prayer and/or fasting (see Joel 2:15-17)
There may be times we need to call on either the church as a whole or as intercessors as a group to join us in prayer and/or fasting. As adults, it goes against our nature to fully trust God in every aspect of our being. This is why we are told to have faith like children. Fasting is one way we can deliberately set aside something good in our lives in order to lay hold of something better. We can ask the Holy Spirit, what do you want to feed me with during this time? This teaches us to trust in His goodness, because we are looking to God to provide something we don’t have.
15 Blow a trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. 17 Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not make Your inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’ ” Joel 2:15-17
Examples of times of corporate and/or group fasting can include when there is an election or critical vote about to take place; when leadership is on the verge of making a corporate decision that will impact the congregation; during an advent season, and more.
In the big picture of things, where is the action taking place?
This is a good and necessary question, and to understand how we can get in alignment with what the Lord is doing and partner with Him through our prayers and actions, it is one of three that we must all be asking ourselves:
- What is the Lord doing?
- What has the Lord done?
- What is the Lord going to do?
Revelation 1:19 confirms the importance of these three questions (“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later). Ephesians 6 tells us who our enemy is, providing us with our armor. Daniel 2:22 tells us that it is God who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. Psalms 25:14 tells us there’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his promises (Psalms 25:14, TPT). All of this combined tells us that is it critical for the action to take place through cultivating an oil of intimacy with our King, because it is the effective, fervent prayers of the righteous that accomplishes much (James 5:16).
If you think about it, the commission we were given by Jesus in Matthew 28 has not changed:
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20, NASB
The important thing to ask is, did you catch it? There was a very important word that is often overlooked, and that is the word “of”. The mandate He gave to the Church is to make disciples OF nations, not just IN nations an often overlooked and very important strategy, because truth be known, Satan is far better at discipling the nations than are Christians.
In Psalms 2:8 we learn that Jesus has been given nations as an inheritance. Not only that, but we also often fail to see the connection of Matthew 28 into the judgement of the nations Jesus speaks about in Matthew 25:
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Matthew 25:31 – 36, NASB
So how are nations discipled and why does it matter to the intercessor that Christians disciple nations? Every nation has what are known as the seven mountains of society. If you want to go for souls, go for the nations! That is where you will visibly see the most impact.
In his book titled “The Seven Mountain Prophecy”, Johnny Enlow states:
“A God-given strategy for anything will always carry some element of the impossible in it. If your strategy is entirely possible, it is not God’s strategy. You could do it without Him. God’s strategy will always require the activation of faith because without faith, it is impossible to please God (see Hebrews 11:6)” – Johnny Enlow, The Seven Mountain Prophecy
Here is an excerpt from the book that I believe sums it up well:
“Back in Revelation 5, we see that an explosion of joy filled the heavens as Jesus took the scroll with the seven seals. The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders burst forth with a new song. Verse 10 tells the key line of the song ‘[You] have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on earth.’ The dominion that Adam and Even had lost was now regained and heaven was rejoicing. Millions of angels then joined in the singing (v. 12)…
‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing.’
“These seven attributes of majesty that He is worthy to receive each coincide with the seven main pillars of every nation’s culture or society. When we speak of discipling the nations, we are speaking of these seven pillars of society that the Lamb is worthy to receive! After researching the original Greek meanings of these words, it became evident to me that power speaks of Government; riches speaks of Economy; wisdom speaks of Education; strength speaks of Family; honor speaks of Religion; glory speaks of Celebration (Arts and Entertainment); and blessing speaks of Media. The Lamb was slain, making the ultimate sacrifice, to enable us to disciple, or instruct, the nations in thus fulfilling Revelation 11:15: ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’ Our God is worthy that all areas of society in every people group come under His righteous rule.”
As Christians, we should be saturating each one of these spheres, treating each as our own mission fields. As intercessors, we can be praying for the CHURCH to raise up leaders that will infiltrate and inundate these 7 spheres at the very top of all of them, so they become the influencers of our society.
Go ye means YE go! If you think about it, because we have all but touched every part of the globe with the message of Christ over the last 2000 years, “Go into all the world” has moved from geographical into world systems – these pillars. Our local churches need to go into all the mountains/systems, not just expect that those within them should come to the church.
Another way to look at these seven is through the lens of Gates of Influence vs. Gates of Hell:
Seven Spirits of God:
In light of this knowledge of the seven mountains of influence within any culture and/or society, it is interesting to note as well that God Himself also has seven Spirits that He has sent out into all the earth:
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.´-Revelation 5:6, NASB
The seven Spirits can be likened to the attributes of the Holy Spirit, in all aspects of His personality. All seven mountains or spheres can be influenced by Him.
Seven Mountains of the Harlot Babylon:
There is a vision told by John in the book of Revelation chapter 17 of a beast on which the harlot woman Babylon sits:
“Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains upon which the woman sits.” – Revelation 17:9
Although the scripture notes that the seven mountains are seven kings, because mountains can be synonymous with kingdoms I cannot help but wonder if this also ties back to the seven mountains of influence, simply because Satan knows our mandate and commission better than we know it ourselves, and will try anything and everything possible to gain control over each one.
One very important thing to remember is that, of the Church, Jesus tells us that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. To prevail against does not paint a picture of Hell storming the Church, but rather of the Church storming the gates of Hell – and in this case those gates are the seven mountains that the Church has over the last centuries progressively handed Satan the authority over (Luke 4:6 – “And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to”). It’s time we take them back!
Who should we pray for and how can we pray?
On a large scale, as mentioned, it is important that we be praying for the Church to raise up leaders that will infiltrate and inundate these 7 spheres/mountains/gates/systems at the very top of all of them, so they become the influencers of our society.
In addition, here is a brief list of who we pray for and over, along with a example of how we can be praying:
- Incoming prayer requests
You may be part of a prayer team who prays over incoming requests. You can pray God’s best over each person and situation, often being prompted by the Holy Spirit to partner with that person in their request for healing, strength, protection, and more. Psalms 91 is a great prayer that we can pray over these types of requests.
- Our children
Example: Lord, don’t let Satan have our children! I claim every single child within my sphere of influence for you and for your glory! Even you prayed not to take us out of this world but to keep us from the evil one (John 17:15), so Lord we pray, keep our children from the evil one! Anoint each one and keep them under Your wings. May you be more dazzling and brilliant to them than anything this world has to offer. May they hear your voice and know you from the earliest possible age. May they walk in Your presence and power, becoming mighty warriors and a passionate, unified bride…
- Our spouses
Example – Lord, increase our love for one another, increase our faith, give us a faithful heart and fervent passion for you and for one another. I pray, give us, too, a hunger to know you and your word, draw us each near to you. Show us the things we can accomplish only in the strength of our unity with each other, not apart (in body, mind, soul, or spirit). Help us to recalibrate with each other often, taking assessment of where each of us are in our journey with you as individuals and how that impacts us as a couple, so that we learn from our past, let go of it, and embrace what you have set before us…
- One another (our church)
Example – See and pray Ephesians 1:15-23 and Ephesians 3:14-21. Lord bring us together in unity and love! May we drop all of our agendas when we come to worship You…
- Our pastors
Example: “pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19…
- Our community
Example: Lord, may we as intercessors and we as the local body of believers be salt and light everywhere we go on a daily basis. May we be the face of Jesus to our community, offering real hope in you! We pray to hear your voice clearly while we are out doing our daily work, so that we are aware of the opportunities you bring to speak a word or offer a kindness. May our walk with you be one that others are drawn to. Give us a boldness to speak out in your name. Give us eyes to see how you see those around us. Increase our sphere of influence and show us how we can build relationships and begin to disciple the ones you bring our way…
- Our nation
Example: Lord, this nation was established by You as a refuge for your people and an extension of mercy and grace to other nations. Our founding fathers created us to be a sheep nation, united in our love for you and walking out the freedoms you have given us. We pray, don’t let Satan have his way and turn us into a goat nation instead! We have been asleep for the last 100+ years. Lord, wake us up! Activate Your Church so that it is not just the remnant who are humbling themselves and asking forgiveness, but ALL of your people that live within our shores! We have given much to Satan but by your grace we want to ready ourselves and be prepared to take it back, fighting this as a spiritual fight within your strength. Battle for us, Lord! We humbly submit to you…
Be encouraged, Church, our God is in control!
For more teaching on the Seven Mountains, check out Lance Wallnau’s teaching on the 7 Mountain Strategy