|Different Types of Intercessors|
PROPHETS AND INTERCESSION MINISTRY
By the Lord's grace and leading I have led various types of intercessory groups in various settings since 1984. Over the years I've noticed that The Lord's faithful in intercession often become the most 'beat-up' in the church. I would even venture to say that only the fivefold ministry and Psalmists of the Lord receive more direct 'attention' from the enemy than do intercessors. Much of the time the reason that intercessors receive more than their share of abuse is due to the fact that they lack proper relationship with the Prophetic ministry.
It is said that "all prophets are intercessors, but not all intercessors are prophets." This is implicit in the New Testament. In fact, intercession as it pertains to the Church began after the ascension of Jesus, yet before the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:12-14). So in this regard, intercession was in place from the time of the distinct call of Jesus to the 120 who waited on the Spirit's commissioning for birthing the Church (Lk.24:48-49; Mt.16:18-19).
Intercessors of that time were intimately joined with the church's leadership, but today intercessors often tend to be disconnected from the leadership today. Because of this, extremes and abuses result in open doors, fallen walls, and wide-open 'gates' which give the enemy legal access. Resulting in needless suffering and unnecessary attacks.
During these past 17 years I've come to identify some types of intercessory 'characters.' While I don't want to offend anyone (but rather help us to take a humorous look at ourselves), I want to illustrate these briefly and then make some comments as to the needs they have and indicate how relationship with Prophetic leadership will help bring right balance, covering and relationship, thereby helping intercessors avoid pitfalls which many (it seems) are prone to experience. Remember, these characteristics relate to both male and female intercessors. I write as one who intercedes, as well as one who loves and covers those who do, because I am loved and covered by Him.
1. THE MARTHA INTERCESSOR:
Martha has a collection of requests from every camp, every stream and she takes on all comers. Martha is 'worldwide' but is so overextended and so well informed that she has no function. Martha has trouble saying "no" because she is one who thrives on being needed, therefore she struggles to properly prioritize.
Because she trusts in the work of intercession more than the One who "ever intercedes," she tends to be tired, guilt-ridden, apologetic, scattered, in-a-hurry, stressed, short, and impatient with everything and everyone not on her wavelength. As a result, Martha is quite non-relational with God, because to think on the Lord is to be reminded of all that's unfinished in the Kingdom.
We feel unimportant in the presence of Martha, because we have ceased to be her precious sister or brother in Him, instead becoming an item on her "list of things to do" as she scurries to what's next (and the list is never completed).
Martha actually has contempt in her heart for (and can pray against) those who relax with Jesus, for she feels they should be more responsible and diligent to "the work" that is before us (Lk.10:40). Martha gets much 'done,' but precious little of it is 'Kingdom business.'
2. THE 'CHICKEN-LITTLE' INTERCESSOR:
According to the 'Chicken Little' Intercessor, the Parousia is eminent because of the latest development (usually in government, the U.N., the Middle-East, in technology or in apostasy). These are PANICKED and want you to be also (and can't understand when you fail to receive their transfer of urgency). They are "blown here and there" due to the scenario of fear which encodes their entire theology. They have remembered "because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold, but he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved" (Mt.24:12-13), But they have forgotten "take heart, for I have overcome the world" (Jn.16:33), "I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt.16:18) and "do you not know that we will judge the angels" (1Cor.6:3). 'Chicken-Little's' are pessimists at heart, and if you could polygraph their prayers, they probably wouldn't be praying in faith, because they have never 'seen' how things could really ever change.
'Chicken- Little' does very little interceding (no matter how much praying occurs), because intercession is something the Spirit does through us (Ro.8:26-27). 'Chicken-Little' is worldly, because he believes that what is taking place in the world is of more consequence than what God has either promised in the Word or Jesus is now doing through the church in the Spirit (Eph.3:10-11).
3. THE SUPER-SPIRITUAL INTERCESSOR:
Arriving in dramatic fashion straight from the third heaven, the Super-Spiritual Intercessor will announce in a truly captivating manner that "I saw a burning donkey jump from a falling star and the LORD said: 'the Pastor's about to resign because he fears the church is going under financially'". Super-Spiritual intercessors may 'hit it' now and again, but due to their tendency to be overly-dramatic and 'on the way to Hollywood' they are prone to 'look' illegally, 'tapping-in' to what waits to deceive them and destroy credibility with the group and leadership.
Because 'vain imaginations' tend to be released just as much as righteous revelation, this intercessor tends to not be credibly received even when 'right on.'
REMEMBER: Don't look for spiritual significance in every event-- if you do you will get off track. Besides, "when words are many, sin is not absent" (Pr.10:19). Allow God to show you what He sees, for what could be better? And God will ALWAYS show you what He wants, but not necessarily what you'd like to know. Most life-changing revelations I've had came in simple sentences from the Spirit of God.
When Nancy and I were planning to return to California after being in southern Arizona, the Spirit spoke and said "the road to California goes through Ohio." Talk about changing our lives (especially Nancy's). Many of God's revelations come to us without wind, noise, and fire, and if we are not careful, we can 'miss it' by looking for the 'icing' instead of focusing on the 'cake' (the Voice of the Lord). Although I've had some really unexplainable things occur during prayer, being close to the Lord and experiencing intimacy with Him is greater than anything else. Period.
4. THE JEZEBEL INTERCESSOR:
Always looking for a way to influence, gain control or dominate, the Jezebel Intercessor will be 'so concerned' as she shares (so regretfully) "God showed me that the pastor (or head of a national or international ministry) is going in the wrong direction." Jezebel will usually find someone close to the leadership to tell and influence concerning her 'insights' whenever possible. If there is an upcoming meeting, she'll need to know ALL about it, but only if those whom she thinks she might influence (or could advance her) are going to be present, and she thinks she can get proximity to them by attending (or serving), will she attend. But if she does find it to serve her purpose the she's likely to be the first one there.
Unfortunately, Jezebel usually won't put herself in a position to righteously succeed, preferring instead to act in subtle manipulation rather than humble submission and service. Therefore, she positions herself around those who can't promote her and usurps their function. The reason for this is usually some family difficulty (and/or personal wounding) which she maintains prevents her from getting into relationship with those who could actually help her fulfill the calling of God. Jezebel has great potential, but without going to the cross, allowing her 'desire to aspire' to expire she will remain a 'subverter.' And (when sharing out-of-order revelations/opinions about leadership), she will be a perverter of the church by sowing strife, discord and suspicion about designated leadership.
If Jezebel has proximity, she will try to operate as one having equal standing with the set-authority of the ministry (when she doesn't). She may not be rude or forceful, just subtle and/or flattering. Jezebel thinks in terms of 'position,' which to her means recognition, attention and favor for what she's been called to but overlooked for. Jezebel is not willing to let her 'function' make room for her, because it requires submission to God's authority within her, the church and throughout the larger body of Christ. Jezebel does not give honor where honor is due, because she craves that attention for herself. Jezebel can operate in males or females and flourishes in various types of relationships with whiners who can't stand up for themselves. Jezebel manifests most frequently in the intercessory, praise & worship, prophetic or eldership ministries of the church.
5. THE GOSSIPING INTERCESSOR:
This member is usually close to Jezebel, and/or is being moved-on by the enemy to receive the Jezebel spirit (a 'Jezebel in training,' so to speak). When desiring attention, tired of the work, bored, or wanting to assert themselves, Gossiping Intercessors will announce (by phone or in a group where they feel "safe"): "God showed me this sin, and (that blankety-blank), etc., about (blank)." The Gossiping Intercessor will also tell you problems others are having that you yourself would not want shared with others (if the situation was reversed). For years I have said: "if people talk about others to you, they will talk about you to others." That certainly applies in this case. One way to help the Gossiping Intercessor without direct confrontation is by refusing to listen to details concerning others and by refraining from offering information that you don't want shared, for you can count on it being broadcast (Lk.12:3). Just excuse yourself politely and move along.
The Gossiping Intercessor, if really hearing from God, should NEVER tell anyone (especially a group) about the revelation of someone's sin. Instead, they should wait on the Lord to confirm it, praying for mercy and covering all the while. If caught in a sin, the LAST thing you ever do is tell someone else other than the one ensnared. If God is truly showing you, He is doing so that you will pray. If you act on a revelation, do so only at beckon of the Spirit of God, do it in right timing, and not because of agreement with someone else. Use Galatians 6:1-3 as your guide, with fear and trembling, and reluctance. If you really WANT to talk with someone, that's a really good indication that the timing is wrong and your spirit's not right. "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Pe.4:8). Having "nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" does not mean exposing people (Eph.5:11). When the Spirit through Paul says "those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning," the context is that the one "set" in the ministry (Timothy) should do this (1Tim.5:20-21). And who is to receive such humbling? The elders (1 Tim. 5:17-19) The "Elders" are ALWAYS fivefold ministers "set" within the congregation according to their spiritual abilities (but that's another teaching).
REMEMBER: God is after the restoration of the earth, which does not happen apart from the restoration of His own which began at the cross and will culminate at His return. Judgment definitely "begins at the house of God" (1Pe.4:17), and it will be announced by Prophetic ministry and tangibly released by the Apostolic (Acts 5:1-11). An intercessor stands in the gap for God to have His way in reconciliation, restoration, mercy and faith according to the promise attached to the primary New Testament passage on intercession (Ro.8:28; 26-27).
6. THE 'OUT TO LUNCH' INTERCESSOR:
There are lonely souls who find a sense of belonging in the intercessory prayer group or ministry. In their own estimation they are not 'functional' enough to be active in other parts of the church or ministry (and confirmation of dysfunction is in abundant supply). Therefore they reason 'anyone can pray, right?' Well, in a word, NO!
Although everyone can (and should and must) pray, participation in an intercession ministry for the sake of social connection is a very dangerous endeavor, because wrong motive will hinder all involved. It's understandable that same may feel alienated by their pastor or their local church. So a key word that surrounds the intercessor who is looking for a 'home' in the prayer group is "remnant." The intercessory ministry provides the way for them to mask their alienation in spiritual terms, which falsely redefines their status from 'rejected' to 'elite.' Usually angry (perhaps not outwardly), they tend to be somewhat hyper-spiritual in casual conversation.
If they are involved in intercession, they need to simultaneously receive deliverance ministry followed by thorough restoration counseling (as a condition for involvement). Peer grouping is a benefit of intercession, but it cannot be the primary motivation for it. Even those who are called to intercession can become sidetracked by the social bonding aspect (with its resulting soul-ties) and from time-to-time need to be re-called to being the vessels of power through which the Spirit can intercede according to the will of God.
7. THE PARANOID INTERCESSOR:
This one is cousin to the Super-Spiritual intercessor. Actually, their malady is one rooted in an inflated ego, it just manifests the fruit of paranoia. Their elevated ego has elevated to the point they are deceived into believing they are now a special target of the enemy. Therefore they need special prayer against 'retaliation' (continually).
If anyone is a 'special target' of the enemy in your church or ministry, it is the one who (under God's leadership) oversees it. In the same way that the devil tempted Jesus, the enemy will try to deceive those who lead the ministry you are in. You, however, are not that interesting to the enemy unless you have key positioning close to leadership (and an attack on you could drag them down if they are otherwise properly hedged). Sorry to blow your delusion of grandeur, but if the devil knows the way to your house, he probably had to ask directions from an intern spirit of denial, fear, unbelief, lust, or religious tradition.
If you are experiencing backlash, much of it can probably be traced to being out-of-order in your relationships in your family, your church, and/or in your vocation. Having 'accounts payable' in your relationships will give the enemy a 'way-in' every time you intercede. Covering your life through obedience to the Holy Spirit and right relationships with those around you is absolutely essential for all believers-- especially those drawn into intercession. Protecting ones self is called 'defensive spiritual warfare' and it goes beyond a perfunctory donning of the armor every morning as you scurry off to do what you must. Effective defensive spiritual warfare means no unforgiveness, no roots of bitterness, no rebellion, and no needs for deliverance remaining unattended to. Above all else it means "to act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).
VERY IMPORTANT: don't confuse the burden of the Spirit for the presence of the enemy. The burden of the Spirit comes to move you into prayer (1Cor.14:2; Eph.6:18; Ro.8:26-27; Jude 20). The burden will lift and ease as you allow the Spirit to pray through you according the will of God. As you do this, the Angelic will move into position and the persons involved will begin responding to the will of God. The enemy, on the other hand, will grip you in fear, anxiety and confusion. We prevent this from taking place daily by renewing our mind to the Word and will of God for our lives (Ro.12:1-3). The enemy retreats as we respond to its manifestation as did Jesus-- with the Scriptures, moved and powered by the Spirit of God (Mt.4:4; Isa.59:19; Eph.6:17-18; 2Cor.10:3-5).
8. THE 'INSTEAD-OF' INTERCESSOR:
The 'Instead-of' Intercessor labors in prayer as a conscience-appeasing, psychologically-soothing alternative to being obedient to God in daily life. They know they are out-of-order, but they subconsciously reason that by praying hard enough, God overlooks it. They are hurting, and fear trusting God with those areas which need cleansing and re-ordering to His authority. They need healing in Father-related issues, so they must prove themselves to God apart from depending on His mercy because they don't want to risk being rejected by Him. 'Instead-of' is works-oriented and reluctant to embrace change (their own).
Therefore, they bring harm to themselves and the group because what happens to them through their disobedience drags everyone else down. As a result, groups with 'Instead-of' intercessors are thrown off-course by urgencies which require them to constantly respond to personal side-issues which prevent God's agenda from being entered into with anymore than just a momentary focus. Because of this, precious little is accomplished by the group and there are repeated upheavals because their problems must be addressed during group activity time. They are rarely (if ever) focused on God.
'Instead-of' Intercessors are closely related to the Paranoid Intercessors. 'Instead-of' will probably be out-of-order in finances (not tithing and/or overwhelmed with debt) or in their marriage (believing God for changing the mate when they themselves need to repent). Because of these issues, they are often held at arms length by leadership, not understanding why they aren't better 'received.' They can be somewhat secretive and unrelated to those in the group. This distance can be a self-defense mechanism which protects them emotionally or prevents their lives from being seen for what they are because of a fear of rejection. Their detachment can also be a shield for moral problems, relationship disasters, unforgiveness, or simply not "rightly discerning the body of Christ."
Unlike the Paranoid Intercessor, these do need prayer . . . deliverance! After receiving full deliverance, they need process-healing to get things in order. These must repent and begin the process which will save them from themselves, but as they do you may find them to be the most faithful and willing of the group for 'standing' when all others want to run. This is because when God redeems that stubbornness that has enabled them to pray 'instead-of' obey, it will be transformed into tenacity in the midst of all else and they will shine brighter than most.
9. THE SUPER-SERIOUS INTERCESSOR:
They are on a mission, so don't disturb them with anything less than a life or death situation. But when they reach out to you for their need, you must pray and agree with them, joining in "right now." In addition to being 'takers' at heart, the Super-Serious Intercessor has forgotten how to laugh at themselves and at the devil (Ps.2:4). They over-compensate out of fear by working harder and smarter and more tenaciously than those around them.
These mistakenly assume that it is their EFFORTS which must become 'more effective,' so they hone their 'craft' by attending every possible seminar, obtaining every possible resource for becoming the best intercessor possible. They have forgotten, however, that the Head Intercessor is Jesus Christ, and He became so through humble obedience to His Father, not by amassing endless resources and impartations form those around Him (He.5:7-10).
Oddly, these are often the leaders of intercessory groups, as well as the ones who feel the call to rise into leadership. It's so important that we have an overpowering revelation of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, one which keeps us in check by reminding us that: (1) His grace is sufficient (2Cor.12:9), that (2) He will finish what He starts (Php.1:6), and that (3) we overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb giving us the basis for receiving 'unction' for the powerful word of testimony (Rev.12:11).
It is He who has the Victory! Walking in the revelation of God's Word in regard to grace, destiny and the cross as the basis for Spirit-empowered declaration can transform the Super-Serious Intercessor into a Super-Powerful and Super-Effective one, whose victory of faith will truly overcome everything in its path (1Jn.5:4).
10. THE 'OPPRESSION-DETECTOR' INTERCESSOR:
The Oppression-Detector Intercessor can 'feel' the slightest enemy movement within a 50 miles radius (or can tell by the way the pets are acting, etc). Unfortunately, they often don't realize when the anointing is there to refresh and renew them in simple love relationship with Jesus Christ. First cousin to the 'Chicken-Little' Intercessor, they know the complete history of every curse of the ground throughout the whole territory, and know about every occult activity that is now (or has ever) operated in the region. They are spiritually-mapped to the teeth, and although they are developing a strategy for victory and are confident they will be effective when adequately prepared, they need just a bit more information before they can really proceed with confidence.
THOUGHT OF THOUGHTS
Jesus has already won the war! We have been called, equipped, sent and set for enforcing what He's already accomplished. And He will always get the Glory. So while He sits at the right hand until his enemies become a footstool for his feet (Ps.110:1), we remember there is "a Sabbath rest for the people of God," so we "make every effort to that rest," for "anyone who enters that rest also rests from his own work" (He.4:11, 10). We can actually rest while the Spirit works through us if we will war from our place with the Lord (Col.3:1-3; Php.3:20), instead of trying to earn something that has already been given (Ro.4:4-5).
The Oppression-Detector Intercessor probably started-out right, but got too tired and went beyond the grace of God once too many times. And whenever we go beyond the grace of God., we find that the works that we have entered into are so very insufficient for the task, for "the letter" of our work at task mastering only results in religious death, "but the Spirit brings life" (2 Cor.3:6).
Intercession is something the Spirit does through us, not something we do for Jesus (Ro.8:26-27).
Oppression-Detectors become negative, devil-centered, and non-spiritual because of not operating at the leading and unction of the Spirit. Therefore, they see the devil.
11. THE EXCLUSIVE INTERCESSOR:
The 'Exclusive Intercessor' is on another level, and they are waiting for you to 'mount up with eagle's wings' so you can see what they see, and see as they do. They are either the personification of rejection (toward you) or are a special one of the 'few true.' While being 'exclusive' in insight or doctrine is the 'fruit,' fear of not being the best (competition) is also at work. The 'root,' however, is insecurity. These thrive in two environments: The first is in the larger churches and ministries where intercessory groups need to be split so that everyone can flow and mature in their anointing. When intercessory groups become too large (yet those who lead them won't share leadership or develop an assistant in order to reproduce and 'grow' another group) members of the existing group can become exclusive (as well). This is because the prospect of growth will ignite the fear of group members that newcomers will detract from their receiving the attention and opportunity they desire and deserve.
This is result of their firm belief that they have been faithful and are gifted (and are waiting to demonstrate it). Leaders of overly large groups can become very picky about how one becomes 'qualified' to intercede. This is because as the group grows they need to stay 'one-up' on those they are leading, so those who are gifted who want to join are not encouraged to do so. This is a classic example of what happens in any aspect of the church's ministry where leaders protect their standing instead of see themselves as successful when others go forward in their gift and calling as a result of having equipped them. Show me an ingrown, quality focused to a fault group, ministry or church, and an 'exclusive' will be found at the helm.
The second environment for the 'Exclusive Intercessor' is smaller circles where that ugly sectarian spirit gets loose in elitist doctrinal purity and/or spiritual pride due to superiority of revelation (since there must be an excuse for being small, having the 'real truth' or being the only with 'right doctrine' or 'right spirit' is perfect).
You may feel this way after inquiring about participating with either of these groups: "When you get spiritual enough, maybe you can visit our group. I'll call you." You won't hear it in those words (exactly), but you will know that they regard themselves as superior to you, and they are: in control, elitism and . . . delusion.
Spiritual pride is the fruit (and the root as well), but the organizational manifestation is that of simply having the wrong leadership paradigm. They may just be failing to understand that splitting the intercession group so that everyone can grow and newcomers can join is a natural order of healthy life in the kingdom of God. These also need to come down to earth as far as understanding that they don't have the whole counsel of God and manifestation of His Spirit.
These mindsets flourish in arenas where insecurity-oriented leadership is in place, leadership that is successful when it keeps 'people in their place' and fails to see the readiness of others to go forward in what God has called them to do.
Regardless, don't bother trying to get accepted by those who reject you, because you will not only feel more rejected than ever, but if you are received (after much boot-licking) you will eventually become just like them. And we don't need anymore of this type rejection in the Body of Christ , do we?
12. THE 'CNN' INTERCESSOR:
The 'CNN Intercessor' always knows the latest. They circle the globe every 30 minutes. Therefore, they pray first about every new happening. These have an Email roster that would choke a 30 gigabyte hard drive and a Rolodex that would cool an entire house if you spun it from back to front 3 times in succession. It may take them half the day just to read their (new every morning) internet prophecies. They can tell you more about what's going on in any remote area of the globe than those who themselves live there. They need to be a 'herald;' they have 'the call' to 'lead' by staying ahead of the competition. They are there . . . first, fastest, and foremost.
Although the CNN Intercessor is extremely informative, their agenda tends to be set by whatever's happening around them: in the world, in the church, in the house, in the city-- reacting to circumstances instead of responding to the Spirit of God. As a result they are full of the good things which we believers tend to be busy at doing. Unfortunately, they often lack the "God thing" in the 'now' of the Lord in functional priority, timing, relevance and Power. It's really important we remember (always) that intercession is given by the Spirit to us for that which God wants to do, that which He considers most important. His thoughts and ways are often not the same as ours
(Isa.55:8-11) GOD ALWAYS OPERATES ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE WHICH ALWAYS CORRESPONDS TO THE APOSTOLIC MISSION OF THE CHURCH AND THE PROPHETIC LEADING OF THE SPIRIT IN GATHERING A BRIDE FOR HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST. And it has been this way from the beginning of New Testament intercession (Acts 1:12-14; Ro.8:26-27).
Since change comes from inside the heart and is then seen in the outer realm through witness and example (Acts 1:8; Mt.5:13-16) the spiritual reality of Christ and the Spirit working through the church in transforming lives through the advance of the Kingdom by way of preaching the Gospel will always be the most important agenda of God for intercessors: . . . "to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Eph.3:9-12).
THREE CONCLUDING PRINCIPLES:
1. True Intercessors 'see' what the Spirit shows them, not what the flesh of everyone is aware of.
2. You don't "access the Spirit" for specific needs that you see; the Spirit accesses you for Specifics He sees, & the result is the birth, advancement and enhancement of what Jesus longs to do in the earth!
3. Don't focus on fruit-- deal with the root. Don't treat the symptoms; heal the disease. Don't put on a band-aid; Agree with the Holy Spirit's surgery by the Word of God. Don't react to effects, respond to causes (Eph.6:12).