Rather than confront the principalities and powers directly, G.s and I decided to sing praises and declare in song that Jesus is Lord. Sometimes it would take an hour to punch a hole through the lowering dark clouds into the Lord’s presence. Mr. and Mrs. G. and I met every Wednesday at 4:30pm for praise and worship. All three of us were musicians, so we sang our prayers. If we had an unusually bad day we got together of an evening to sing which drove the enemy away. Hotel officials were horrified that we were singing! But we kept it up and the oppression would lift. If we neglected the weekly sing, quarrels among us, fear and oppression crescendoed noticeably.
Music in praise and worship is not optional. A vertical focus is critical to spiritual, physical and psychological vitality. The joy of the Lord in praise produces a balanced, sound faith in God’s sovereignty over the powers of darkness. It also instills a holy boldness to speak out in Jesus’ name whether the opportunities seem to be convenient or not (II Tim. 4:1-5). What a privilege to be one of God’s intercessory missionaries!
I can still see her with her head bowed almost to her lap. “I thought you mature than that!” And she seemed ready to weep over her perception that I feared this city and this province. Another time, as I was talking to a lady about our area, she commented, “I didn’t mean to make you cry.” I knew that she had misunderstood my reaction to the spiritual climate of our city. These comments were made by American Christians who claimed to understand intercession and warfare prayer. On the other hand, Christian brothers and sisters from other nations quickly sensed my deep concern for nations and their leaders. When they asked, “Who are you?” they wanted to know my place in the Body of Christ. My answer that I am called to intercessory prayer has promoted long-lasting, close relationships in which I have prayed covering for some bold activities in Jesus’ name. This is the privilege of an intercessor.
Mediators with the Lord tend to be sensitive. This may cause misunderstandings because one becomes focused in prayer and all else fades. Serious intercessors tend to be spiritually perceptive and show a great deal of insight. This discernment is used primarily for more effective prayer. They tend to be quiet people who see and hear much but say little.
There are various kinds of intercessors. All Christians are called to intercede for others, but those called to intercession pray for longer periods of time and more intensely over certain situations and people. They generally have a deeper interest in the background of those places and individuals for which they plead. Some intercessors travel from place to place, staying in one location for a short time while others may find work in an area and remain for longer periods. The Lord may change one’s assignment from time to time. The intensity and direction of an assignment may change, also.
I had the privilege of meeting some to the intercessors who returned to the city where I was teaching to visit the area and find out who the present intercessors were. One woman told of being lead here along with two other Christian missionary/teachers. All three women became very ill with respiratory problems, so they went to Hong Kong to recover. One of the other two finally returned to the States, too ill to continue teaching in China. The second lady did not return to their school but relocated within China. Only the lady I met continued teaching in “her” city for an extended period as a strategic level prayer warrior. I also met an elderly man and his wife who taught in this location for several years. He bicycled all over the ancient city praying as he toured. Nervous Chinese authorities warned him to restrict his riding to the immediate area of the university. Nevertheless, he was not intimidated and persisted in the task appointed by his General.
What incredible love and commitment they showed. It was an honor to bow my head as this elderly couple prayed for my courage and strength. I’m grateful that the Lord in His mercy set me on a training course to prepare me for such intense warfare before sending me to this particular strategic place. Spiritual mapping, even if not complete, is critical to one’s effectiveness as an intercessor. For example, this city had a prison for political prisoners just a couple of blocks from the university where I taught. There was a military training facility located south of the business discrict and gunfire could be heard throughout the day with helecopters flying low oeverhead. There was a Bhudist temple not far from the university. The environment was filthy and tuberculosis was common. In fact, I contracted TB and have significant lung damage.
Understanding the need for identificational repentance, both from the perspective of foreign nations invading China and from the aspect of Chinese spilling Chinese blood, will bring brokenness to an intercessor. Though I have been retired for several years I still think of the individuals I met in China and even visit in the spirit occassionally.