The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
I was laying on my bottom bunk, feet kicked up on the bunk above mine. It was getting late, but the seven of us were just getting warmed up. We were missionaries-in-training, and were soaking in all the stories of hearing God’s voice, of answers to prayer, of words of knowledge and prophecy that were true!
I was eighteen. We were all about that age, and maybe just a little goofy. We started “Playing prophecy”. We weren’t being serious, but we started speaking things out like, “You’re going to be like Joy Dawson!” and, “You’re going to be an amazing intercessor.”
Honestly, the reason those two “prophesies” stand out to me after all these years, is because of how ridiculous they seemed at the time. Please don’t tell anyone… but I always thought intercession was boring. Seriously. Snoozefest. Bow your heads and close your eyes and try your best not to snore… Amen!
So me be an intercessor? Ha! Not likely.
But it stuck with me over the years. Like that one ad on the sidebar that incessantly tells you to buy those shoes.
Does it Really Make a Difference?
I’ve grown up a little since then, and I know the value of intercession, but I must admit that I have still struggled with the boredom factor. I am, at my core, a doer. A git-er-done kind of person, and I still ask myself sometimes, Do I really have to do this? Or, is this really making a difference?
I have been challenged over and over in this area, and there was plenty of opportunity for challenge on this outreach to Greece. Dependence on God’s presence and waiting on Him has been a core value for our united ministry—and for YWAM in general. Throughout the entire three weeks, teams in the prayer room worshipped God and supported our outreach through intercession. I found myself highly invested in the prayer room ministry during our time in Athens.
Intercession in Action
On one of the earlier intercession sets, we prayed for an evangelistic event at the Hellenistic Center, and had a strong sense that we were to intercede for people to give their lives to Jesus.
This weekend event would include an afternoon showing of the Jesus Film and an evening dinner and gospel message. YWAMers would join every table to speak to our guests. We were preparing a banquet, both physically and spiritually.
During our time of harp and bowl intercession for the event, I sang a prophetic song about bringing in our brothers and sisters, about the banquet being set… I wish I could remember the actual words, but it was something like this:
Bring them in
Bring them in
Our brothers and sisters are waiting
They’re waiting to know their father
Bring them in
The banquet is set for them
Our brothers and sisters are hungry
Bring them in
I can’t remember what all else, but it was definitely a song about welcoming people into the kingdom of God.
Fruit that Lasts
That night, M___, F____ and W____ sat at a table with my husband, Carlos. After communing together over supper, the three of them gave their lives to Jesus! It was a direct—and quick—answer to our prayers and intercession.
I was awe-inspired and so thankful for what I saw happen that night, as well as what followed the next days.
People were healed. Some received words of knowledge and prophecy. People who would never have the opportunity in their own countries heard the gospel. Several people—Pakistanis, Iranians, Afghanis, and maybe more—gave their lives to Jesus.
Maybe not a snoozefest, after all
I felt both lambasted by God’s greatness, goodness and faithfulness, and a bit sheepish for questioning His ways. Who am I to think that I can DO what only God can DO? More and more, I realize that I am part of a body, and therefore, as I do my part, I can join in with what God is already doing, I can witness God doing great things. It may not have been a new revelation, but it was a necessary lesson nonetheless, and one for which I am grateful.
Want to find out more about YWAM United? Or join a missions movement? Or just learn how prayer can be more effective, fervent and exciting? (and maybe not so boring.)