There is a scripture that, of late, I have found I cannot get away from. I’ve memorized it and repeatedly claim it and pray it for Christians. Especially, I am claiming it for Christians who need physical healing in some way. It is Romans 8:11; and it is listed at the bottom of this post. There is a promise in it, that the Holy Spirit will give life to our MORTAL bodies.
In terms of praying for His life to be made manifest in our mortal bodies, it is not just for physical healing; but context that the supernatural presence of God be revealed through Christians. This can come in many ways and is meant to demonstrate the God of Heaven still lives on earth, through the temples He fills, the mortal bodies of believers. This scripture catches my interest for miracles because it parallels the miraculous resurrection of the bones coming to life in Ezekiel 37 which I've also been praying of late. Both challenge me in how I am to pray for what my eyes cannot see, only the Spirit knows and only God can.
Praying for physical healing can be intimidating. I would say I feel this way not just when I pray for Christians who need healing, but for anyone who is physically sick. I especially feel intimidated when praying for someone with a life threatening illness. If I am alone and praying for that person, it is easier to be bold, but if I am praying in front of them and their loved ones, I’ve seen my prayers become more cautious, less sure. I know many feel this way. How to pray for the sick?
This bothers me because I do not want to dishonor God or “stifle” the witness of the Spirit, so I’ve been asking God how to approach praying for people with severe or terminal illness in particular. He’s answered; responding with “hints” of outcome, giving me some words and leaving impressions in my heart of what the outcome will be. They’ve come true! There have been 2 circumstances within the last month where these impressions coming true have greatly infused my faith! God has healed those people! One was a spiritual healing; indicating someone with terminal cancer would make it through a surgery and become a believer. They did! The other a believer with terminal cancer, that she would be healed! She was!
This guidance in how to pray for the sick intrigues me very much. I hope it will stir curiosity and longing in you too, because I truly believe God is up to something in these times. We should always be looking for what the Spirit of the Lord is up to, LONGING to celebrate and participate in His power made manifest on earth! Sadly though, too many are luke-warm, not longing and rejoicing. It is possible to completely miss out. Not tuning in to what the Spirit is doing means missing a great amount of joy and celebration. It’s a flat-line Christianity that is depressing and doesn’t draw the lost. As a hypothetical, if you were to share a miracle with me and I just say, “Oh well God does heal” and I do not rejoice, you would be right to wonder about the lack of my joyful response. My joyless response might be indicating a flat-line worship of my heart. We must rejoice in Him, there are so many reasons to do so! Where is Christian joy?
May you test your heart as you read the rest of the blog which is testimony of a miracle. It is an account of one the aforementioned situations. I note her experience, the power of many Christian’s praying, more specifically how God challenged me to pray, and what He put on my heart to proclaim and what to do…
One of my strategic monthly partners has a family member who was diagnosed with a central nervous system lymphoma. She was treated successfully once from February 2016 to July 2016 through an aggressive chemotherapy treatment. An MRI done post treatment in July came back clear! Many rejoiced! However, in September, one of the tumors had returned and was aggressive in growth, larger than before. She was told there was no hope of a cure by doctors here and doctors in a cancer center in Boston, so they chose to go out of country for an alternative option. This alternative option was an extreme treatment with severe warnings of side effects, one being possible death. But God was with her in that choice, giving her and her husband peace on it, so funds were raised and they were set to leave this Monday, October 31st. But the trip has been canceled; because she has been miraculously healed by Christ! GOOSEBUMPS????!
Before leaving, this past Monday October 24th, she went to get an updated MRI to take with her to the alternative treatment center. On Tuesday she got a stunned and dumbfounded email response from her doctor who reviewed that MRI. “The MRI is better-- it is actually completely better and I don't see any evidence of enhancement now. I am going to discuss this with radiology to see if they can explain this. Have you been on anything since the last MRI? Do you have time to discuss this by phone?" By phone, he told her there is no evidence of cancer in her body and to cancel her trip and planned treatment! He offered to write a doctor's letter to the airlines for a refund, but then commented that “he didn't know how he would word it”! On Wednesday of this week, he further discussed her MRI with radiologists and they also conclude that “all enhancements have gone away and they have no explanation”!
So what happened in between September’s terminal diagnosis and October’s clear MRI? She has said there were no new adjustments on her diet side, her gluten free/sugar free diet continued, and an inconsistent attempt at a cancer diet began. But on her spirit treatment side, many laid hands on her and prayed for her. She explained this to her doctor. She gave God the credit and “suggested he reconsider his (dis)belief in God”. She asks that we pray for him, that “he is shaken”.
Regarding how I prayed for her... on my own I am no one special and was merely one of the many who prayed for her. But in my own, His Spirit is in me and those who believe.
In her first diagnosis, I noticed God caused me to grieve when I prayed for her, a grieving I did not understand but felt convinced it was totally about His love being poured out through the life of the Spirit in me. Although, upon her most recent terminal diagnosis with no hope of recovery, I noticed the grieving in prayer was gone and it puzzled me at first. I've come to believe the grieving was gone because hope was now being seeded. He was putting 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 on my heart as context on how to frame my prayers for her…
verses 8-11 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
The way I interpreted this and prayed it was that like Paul, she was under great pressure, beyond her ability to endure, despairing of life itself. That like Paul, she had received a sentence of death. But that this has happened that she might not rely on herself, but on God, who raises the dead. Like Paul being delivered from deadly peril once, she also was delivered once during her first chemo treatment. And as Paul boldly proclaimed he would be delivered again, that she would also be delivered again. That all who were praying would set our hope that Christ would continue to deliver her, pressing in with our prayers. In this way, the outcome would be that many will give thanks for the gracious favor granted in answer to the prayers for her healing.
I prayed this privately and then gathered with many at her house early October. People laid hands on her and prayed for her. A word of “sing” kept coming to my spirit as I listened and waited for a turn to pray. Over and over in my spirit I kept hearing “sing”. God has taught me repeatedly that singing is a weapon of warfare. Song is a powerful and mighty gift we as Christians should use with joy and passion in order to defeat and overcome all that is not of God, see an awesome account in 2 Chronicles 20:15-29. And note reference to supernatural weapons indicated in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4.
God whispering to my heart that I was to speak that word of "sing" in front of the group was a test. It was a test because I saw fear and some trauma in people’s faces, most especially a few of her close loved ones. I saw and sensed anxiety and doubt, all normal considering the intensity of the situation. But I took courage with heart racing and spoke it anyways, “God is putting on my heart to sing, sing, sing, SING! That we should rejoice!” Then I proclaimed the scripture he was putting on my heart in the way I had been praying it privately. I proclaimed 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 publicly.
I did it out of obedience despite real trepidation. I did not want to deny what the Spirit had been speaking. He deserves this glory and testimony post healing and it would be much less believable if I had not honored him publicly. I was not the only one challenged to encourage her to believe. A couple of others spoke in the same way, one woman giving her a testimony of her own healing from terminal cancer. One pastor told of his brother being healed from Stage 4 throat cancer and exhorted her to believe. Another wise man asked all the children to gather around, lay hands on her and pray. It was a wonderful prayer gathering. But it didn’t resolve anything at that point, because family members were still fearful and doubtful.
This precious woman has said as she tells people of her healing that she doubted God would heal her. Normal response. God knows we are willing; but weak. He knows our faith has points of where it ends. This is why scripture says, He finishes our faith. We are responsible to keep our eyes on Him, and He is faithful to finish and perfect our faith, Hebrews 12:2. Where our faith ends, He steps in. Do not beat yourself up if you have doubt, merely confess it and keep looking at Him. Press in though, press in for more of Him, sing and find a place of rest in His presence. He will divinely assist. His supernatural power will give life to your mortal body!
As Christians, we are blessed to be vessels of His Holy power, friends of the GREAT and AWESOME King of ALL. Through prayer and worship and confession of His Name, we are allowed to participate in the supernatural power of His Spirit. He resurrects the dead and he still performs wonders. May we greatly anticipate! May we tune to His voice! May we test and then believe in Holy whispers. May we look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith!
If you want to participate in a time of pressing in and a time of rest in His presence, please come this Wednesday. November 2nd at 7pm to Webster Recreation, room 304 for the 3rd Worship-Prayer session. I format each session a bit differently. Last time I set up private prayer screens for greater sense of freedom and less distraction in time with God. This time we will have a group intercession time and as well as time of private prayer time. I encourage you to come. You can miss out on what God is doing in our times if you aren’t paying attention. Choose to know Him better, to be blessed by the wonderful ways He wants to rise up in you, giving life to your mortal body through His Holy Spirit!
Romans 8:11- 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
One of the most common questions I get when I tell people I intercede as a form of serving God is, “What is intercession?” In last week’s blog post I began to describe intercession according to some New Testament terms Jesus used. Those terms are binding and loosing. (note- I didn’t send an email to my database of names last week, so if you haven’t read last week’s post, for context on priestly authority please do so before reading further.)
Regarding binding and loosing, people can be just as curious and even intimidated about adding those words into their prayer language as they are about "intercession". Maybe you've heard the language of "binding and loosing" in terms of praying against satanic forces. There is much more to see about binding and loosing beyond prayer language of, “Satan, in the name of Jesus, I loose you of your power over “so and so”.
Binding and loosing is much more about God’s radical love, tender mercy, and powerful authority over death that He shares with you and me. I find myself awakening anew as I study intercession more closely and see it as both prayer and action based. It’s a prevailing and beautiful weapon of warfare. Hopefully you will awaken anew also; and be stirred to wear your priestly authority, as you enter God’s throne room and also take his authority into relational situations.
Here is an example of Christ wearing his priestly authority, entering the throne room of God, and taking his authority into a relational situation. Note this is also an example of Christ “binding and loosing”.
John 11:40-44New King James Version (NKJV)
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
In the Lazarus circumstance you see Jesus does a few things:
Our Holy Deliverer, our great high priest, our continual intercessor executed his priestly office in public as an example for us. Like referenced in last week’s post, as high priest, names of people are carried on his heart continually into the presence of God. Lazarus was a name Christ had bound to his heart in love for eternal life thereby loosing Lazarus from death as perfect High Priest, John 11:5.
This is true of Christ’s nature then, it is true of Christ’s nature now.
Hebrews 7:25- Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
But He does not intend to do the intercession alone. He is calling you; He is calling his people to bind and loosen in His authority. He is calling you to agree and believe in prayer. (Note: last week’s post has further context of Matthew 18 in reference to the lost, the new believer, the unrepentant believer, the repeat offender, the one having trouble forgiving.) Think of 1-2 names and with Christ, go through the steps Christ went through to loose your “Lazarus”:
In this time, in this season, for our families, communities, and nation, God is looking for intercessors, those willing to cry out for mercy for themselves and others, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Many are willing to offer opinions in our political season, taking time to post and respond, argue and position. If we Christians spent as much time and more energy and heart praying and interceding, binding and loosing, agreeing and believing, I wonder how differently it would turn out? I know the answer because God promises He will hear and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)!
Luke 18: 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
I was privileged to be invited to a setting of a group of Christian men this week, to introduce the ministry and talk about the effectual work of intercessory prayer. What a great discussion that followed! Men wanting more of God!
One emphasis shared regarding intercessory prayer was the power of “agreement”. Jesus taught we are to agree in prayer.
Agreeing is not asking with a question mark tied to it. Will it happen, will it not happen? Agreeing implies a decision has been made. By who? By you and another. Too often we think we can’t make judgments, that we can't decide on a matter. This is NOT what scripture says at all. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 12:2) so we can make righteous decisions that agree with the heart of Christ. We are also to do it together, (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Jesus makes clear that agreement needs 2 or more. Read chapter 18 of the book of Matthew in verses 15-20. You will find Christ promising that if two or more agree for anything they ask for, it will be done for them. Of late I’ve had several internal promptings reminding me that I need to stop asking and just stand firm in “agreement” because a decision has already been made!
How do we know what we can firmly agree on?
Well from what I see within this context of Matthew 18, he references new believers who go astray, a Christian hurting or offending another Christian, an unrepentant believer, and a need to forgive a “repeat” offender. In the middle of this chapter, in regards to how to respond to an unrepentant believer, Jesus instructs 2 or more to bind and loose, as a means of agreeing and that it will be done for them. What is binding and loosing?
Matthew 18: 18 Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Do you see how Jesus goes from talk of binding and loosing things in heaven and earth to talking about agreeing? He talks about “touching” that thing they’ve asked for. What they collectively touch, this is what will be done.
Looking back into the Old Testament gives some clarity on binding and loosing. It references priestly authority. The high priest wore a breastplate of decision that contained 12 stones to symbolically represent all tribes of Israel and therefore, all of God’s people. This breastplate was “bound” around his waist to keep it in place>>>>> OVER HIS HEART>>>>> BEFORE THE LORD>>>>>>> CONTINUALLY.
Exodus 18: 28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod. 29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually. 30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.
Binding the breastplate of names to the HOLY high priest garment, keeping those names positioned over his heart, going into the presence of God, bringing those names before the LORD continually… this is intercession.
Yet it is not a full enough picture. It is not a complete picture as described in Exodus. There are two other things referenced that are to be upon the high priest's heart. The Urim and the Thummim. Strange words, ones I have glossed over always, too lazy to dig deeper.
But not this week. It finally bugged me that I didn’t know what those words meant. The Urim and Thummim are referenced in other scriptures and indicate these items were put into, hidden within the breastplate of judgment. It appears they were stones hidden under the breastplate. One stone, the Urim, means lights, i.e. brilliancy, indicating revelation and divine wisdom over the heart of the high priest. And the other stone, the Thummim, indicates innocence and means perfection, i.e. complete truth. Brilliant light, holy revelation, divine wisdom combined with innocence, perfection, and complete truth born on the heart of the high priest… That is beautiful.
Who said He was the light of the world? Who was transformed into the brilliancy of God's glory? Who claimed to be divine revelation? Who was hidden from view in the Old Testament, but always positioned between judgment and the heart of God? Who transformed the breastplate from one of judgment to a breastplate of righteousness, Ephesians 6:14? Who binds this breastplate on you with a belt of truth? Who shares his authority with His children, now giving them the priestly office? Who transformed a religious priesthood it into a ROYAL priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 5:10? Who tore down the dividing wall that kept us from God’s presence? Who opened up the way for us to boldly enter His presence anytime we want? CHRIST! He is the Urim and Thummim!
You symbolically see him in every piece of the high priest garment! The GOSPEL message is evident in just the breastplate bound continually upon the heart of the high priest! Christ continues to this day to bear and intercede…
Hebrews 7:25- 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
So back to our part. Back to binding and loosing and touching any thing. If you are a Christian, you have an amazing amount of authority bound around your waist and on your heart. You can carry names into the presence of God with another brother or sister in Christ. You can both make a holy judgment agreeing through the light and truth of Christ what shall be done in relation to those needing to be transformed into little children. You can agree on God's will for the stray sheep, the one who causes others to stumble, the unrepentant brother, the one needing to forgive a repeat offender. The answers are in scripture. We know what to pray. We know what to bind (allow) and loose (forbid). It will be done for us by a good Father in Heaven!
Touch Christ’s heart in your asking. Intercession is lighting upon, striking, falling upon with force, meeting. He is touched by the prayers of those who are poor in spirit, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the humble, the merciful, those who mourn, the peacemakers, those persecuted for His Name, those who love Him with all their heart, mind, and soul. His ears are tuned and He agrees in Heaven. Those are prayers bound on earth, reaching His throne and bound in Heaven. They loose chains that bind.
I pray you will be open to God giving you His heart for those He himself is reaching for. If you respond to God’s love for another, His love will transform YOU too. You will love in His strength. You will increasingly see with divine light and truth, the Urim and Thummim of Christ over your heart.
Find someone with whom you can agree in prayer. Be patient. Persevere. May you boldly carry the office of intercession and battle for the souls of those God loves. In the process, you will grow to love them too.
Agree with God; stand in the gap for another with a prayer partner. God says YES! It will be done!
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!