The Intercessors

June 5, 2014

One of the gifts of this season in my life is that I have been able to be part of and attend various other traditions of faith- see how other denominations function, coach pastors who live in a different system, be part of churches that have been in existence for years or baby churches just planted, sit on the other side of pulpit learning what the attenders see and hear and desire and respond to, and experience the spirituality and practices and theology of other churches. It has been rich and I have learned so much more than I ever could staying in my own little world. In fact, some of my dearest friends in this season come from different denominations.

On Tuesday, I got to experience something I had never known before. We attended an Intercessory Prayer service. I had been to healing services before. I had even led a few. And of course, I had watched TBN’s flashy, fancy, and “I-wonder-if-that-is-staged-but-I’m-not-sure” healing services. This was not like that. It was not like what I had led. It was not like what so many evangelicals call healing services. We went for my son. And God showed up big.

I tend toward an intellectual approach sometimes to new experiences. It’s party my personality, as well as my hesitancy to jump into things. Intellect keeps me just enough connected and just enough separate from whatever I am attending. But eventually, I have to choose if I will continue to analyze as a coach and consultant and theologian, or if I will become an active participant in what God is doing in those moments. Sometimes I choose the former. Sometimes I don’t. Tuesday, I didn’t.

There was a moment when God asked me lay aside my analysis and simply receive. And that’s not easy. Both laying analysis aside and receiving. I’m not very good at just opening my hands and receiving the ministry of others sometimes. But Tuesday, it was as though I had no choice. God appeared in powerful ways and after all, we were there for my son- so I was “mommy” not “pastor/theologian/coach.” The people who minister through this are in laws to my very best friend from college.

She and I were incredibly close and I have been blessed with many close friends in my life- but this woman… well, she’s special. She has this gentle authenticity about her that is amazing to simply soak in. And she loves Jesus in ways I have never seen in another person. She and I lost touch after our weddings and just reconnected a couple months ago. So when I came across this ministry, I realized it was connected to her in laws. And I trust her- even after all this time and distance. So I trusted them to meet and pray for my son.

And pray they did. I kid you not.

For what seemed like hours but was maybe 30-45 minutes, they prayed for my son. They anointed him with oil. They laid hands on him. They read scripture over him. There were intercessors who wandered the room, moving from group to group, meeting the prayers of the many who had come to see Jesus. Several stopped by for a few moments. Some never spoke, just touched and prayed.

Others spoke powerful, prophetic words to us. There was a doctor who reminded my husband that God loves him. And there was the teacher who named our fears without us even having to say a word. And there was a gentle woman who simply held out her hands to Ian and I knew in her gentle touch were strong prayers. And of course, there were the two leaders of the ministry- my friend’s in laws- who laid hands, prayed. Spoke God’s wholeness over my three year old.

And then there were two intercessors who stayed beside us the entire time- my dear friend and a man named Jim. The entire time, my friend and Jim read scripture over Ian, held him, touched him, prayed for him. In the midst of the time in prayer, I looked at them, amazed at how committed they were to this child that neither of them had met until that night (this was the first time I was seeing my dear friend in over 16 years). They were committed to him. Committed to what God was wanting to do in him. Committed to praying for his health, protection and peace. And so they did what they knew they could do- they stayed. They stayed for what felt like hours. Faithfully faithful to his needs. That sort of commitment is a powerful witness, not simply of their belief in prayer, but of love. They chose to love my son. To love him. This little boy who couldn’t even say their names.

They chose to let him fill their hearts as they helped us hold him out to Jesus. They were the friends carrying the paralyzed man to the roof. They were the faithful who made way for us to ask for God’s healing. My dear professor, John Weborg, used to say that we have to borrow each other’s faith sometimes. They were the lenders of faith to my husband and me- since we were so weary of the battle for my son’s health. Afterward, both of them continued in their places. They shared stories, visions, thoughts, and things they had specifically prayed for in silence. And I got to hold my dear friend again and feel our hearts connect like they had all those years ago.

I am changed by the powerful encounter with Jesus in these people. Changed by the way in which they spoke the words of health and wholeness and truth and life to our family. Changed by their willingness to minister to a minister who sometimes makes the mistake of thinking she must always take that role. Changed by the faithfulness of their committed prayers.

And overwhelmed with gratitude.

One Response to “The Intercessors”

  1. Reid Olson said

    Thanks for the reminder that God’s presence is enough.

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