A Quiet Invasion
There are no shortcuts in life. If we want to leave a legacy for our children and the people we love, it will be a lifetime endeavor. Instant wealth or fame are rare. For most of us there won’t be any doors flying open to welcome us, no acknowledgment from the world that we have finally arrived, no banquets in our honor, or platforms or TV shows clamoring for our wisdom and anointing. Most likely the things we do to bless or help our fellow man will be a hidden undertaking, because people aren’t really looking for superstars, they are looking for something genuine.
Jesus came into the world as a baby in a manger, a humble servant who didn’t seek fame or fortune, and wasn’t interested in popularity; but He changed the world with truth and love and a small army of 12 disciples. It started as a quiet invasion. When He taught His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” He gave them the keys that would open our world to a heavenly invasion. Jesus left us a legacy of prayer that would change the course of history. We are learning that prayer can invade all the spheres of society and impact the greatest kingdoms of this world by turning away the advancing tide of evil.
Shortly before my husband died in 2002, we moved across the country to live in Washington DC. Since it was a new place I didn’t have the family, friends and activities that I was used to. After Tim died, I spent a lot of time in my home, in worship and prayer, and waiting on the Lord. Reading His word, listening to His voice and learning the importance of obedience became my daily bread. In that secret place the Lord began healing my broken heart, setting me free from self-centered thinking and worldly desires, and teaching me His ways. I learned that He was enough, He would take care of me, He would never leave me, He was everything I needed. He only asked that I follow Him to the places He would send me and do whatever He asked me to do. Today, I know that He is with me to protect me from every adversary and all harm. I have no fear when I step out in faith or engage in spiritual warfare. I’m reminded daily that it’s all about the Lord, and not about me. Even though I’m no more than an unassuming grandmother on the outside, I am convinced that when I pray, things change, the enemy’s camp is disrupted, and people are set free.
A friend of mine said that I was like a little hobbit. She’s not particularly tall either, so I knew she wasn’t just talking about my physical stature. However, I am barely 5’ 2”, I have a soft voice, and a few aches and pains typical of some of my baby boomer counterparts. It seemed like just yesterday I was younger and taller and more interesting. When I go places no one really notices me unless I’m meeting someone I know, otherwise I’m often overlooked. But when I pray I have the attention of my Heavenly Father and the host of angels assigned to carry out His answers to my prayers.
Intercession is a form of prayer that can radically change circumstances and events. An intercessor is someone who mediates or stands in the gap, pleading with God, asking Him for mercy even when it is undeserved. We can intercede for individuals, people groups, and entire nations. Jesus’ prayer on the cross is the perfect example. When He was dying for our sins, He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” He took the guilt and blame for our sins upon Himself and turned the wrath of God away from mankind. As intercessors, we ask for forgiveness on behalf of others and stand on the finished work of the cross as payment in full. We pray, Lord in judgement, remember mercy.
In Isaiah 59, we learn that Israel’s sins had separated them from God leaving them blind and hopeless. Yet, the Lord still offered hope if they would repent. However, the Israelites were so steeped in wickedness, there was a barrier between them and God and He “hid His face” from their pleas. Sin always becomes a barrier between us and God.
Isaiah 59:16, goes on to describe our need for a Messiah, “He saw that there was no one, and he was appalled that there was no one to intercede; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.” God was looking for a champion to stand in the gap, confront the evil of that day and protect the innocent. Jesus was the ultimate answer to his search, and as intercessors who follow His example, we are called to be the champions who stand in the gap and plead for mercy when judgement is deserved. The Lord waits to work salvation through prayer and intercession.
In my role as a business intercessor, occasionally I have the privilege of praying for businesses that are going through difficult times. For example, one of our clients gave several of their high-level officers the authority to take over and run their business for a season while they took time off to recover from a strenuous year. But, the people they trusted to oversee the company nearly ruined them. As their intercessors, we stood in the gap, cried for mercy, extended forgiveness to the ones who had betrayed them and prayed protection and deliverance over the owners and the company. There was a real possibility they would lose everything, but the Lord showed me in a vision that the destructive force sent from the enemy’s camp couldn’t touch them. We witnessed the Lord shaking things out like a dirty rug, exposing the depth of the corruption. Complicit managers were let go and lawyers stepped in to deal with pending charges. Unpaid bills piled up, and banks called in their loans. Through it all, we interceded and believed together that the Lord would protect and deliver them. They had great favor with banks and loan officers. New hires with skill and integrity came onboard and trust came back into the company. The sales department recovered, and now new contracts are starting to come in and cash flow is being restored. We continue to praise and thank the Lord for His mercy and kindness. They have turned the corner, averted disaster and have much to be thankful for.
Through prayer, we can intervene in the affairs of this world. God is still looking for intercessors to stand in the gap and turn back the tide of evil. Jesus left us a legacy of prayer that changed the course of history. We have the incredible privilege of carrying on that legacy.
Judy Sullivan is the Vice President of Sozo Services. For over 30 years Judy has trained intercessors and led prayer efforts across the United States. Judy also founded The Prayer Embassy in Washington, DC. Judy can be reached at email@example.com.