Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Intercessory Missionary

I am currently a student and intercessory missionary at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Most of us are familiar with missionaries that focus on going to other countries and preaching or providing necessary needs such as food or medical care. But the Lord is raising up and calling forth for a new type of missionary, one that is essential to completing the Great Commission. An example of this is found in Luke 2:36-38.

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38 NKJV)
Anna is a picture of a woman who dedicated her life to ministering to the Lord through fasting and prayer. She did this for over sixty years just prior to the first coming of Jesus. Anna was also the first evangelist that is seen in the New Testament, but it is important to understand that the message that she preached was cultivated and birthed out of a place of prayer. A message that is birthed in this fashion goes forth with power because it comes from a living relationship with Jesus inside of the messenger.

I came to know the Lord in eighth grade, and from the beginning I learned the importance of prayer. To begin with, my journey in prayer was about seeing needs and lifting them up to the Lord, so that I would see a change. I started a prayer group when I was in high school, and I was also involved in leading prayer while I was at Pacific Lutheran University. It was then that I started to understand that it was not just about bringing concerns to the Lord but about meeting a Man, the God-Man Jesus.

Since I have been here at the International House of Prayer, I have learned more about the process of prayer. I love what Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18. Mainly what Paul is saying is that as we behold Jesus (thought meditation on scripture and in praise and worship) our Intercessor, then we become like Him. This to me is the essence of prayer. It is coming to know Jesus, becoming like Him and through this relationship interceding about what is on His heart (Heb 7:25).

One of my favorite classes I took this spring was ‘Eternal Glory of an Intercessor,’ by Corey Russell. I love this class ,because it is about Jesus who is our Intercessor and how to partner with Him in this role.

This kind of intercession is the means that God uses to establish His kingdom on the earth. He wants people that will hear His heart and partner with Him. Prayer changes the spiritual atmosphere over the cities and nations (Matthew 6:10, Psalm 149).
As an intercessory missionary I am “set” on a wall of intercession (Isaiah 62:6-7) as one who will not give the Lord any rest through prayer until His desires are fully brought forth on the earth.
Jesus, in Matthew 6:10 when He taught the disciples how to pray, told them to pray that God’s will would be done in earth as it is in heaven. Jesus will not do this without partnership with Him.

My heart’s desire is to dedicate my life to a life of intercession, to know this God Man Christ Jesus. Most of you know that I spent four years serving in the United States Army. Although I learned a tremendous amount through the military, I have no desire to re-enter the work-force on a full time basis. Saying this, I also know that many are called to work full-time and those that do see tremendous fruit in terms of leading people to the Lord, touching lives and releasing funds into the harvest.