Intercession is Not A Life of Prayer.
Intercession has always been one of those areas for the committed prayer warriors, whackos and serious Christians. It has been for those who fast like I eat fast food, those who shut themselves away with Bibles, dull soaking music (Christian version of elevator music) and love nothing more than engaging in heavenly battles. They see visions like I watch T.V., they hear the voice of God as if they never get spiritual tinnitus and they get taken into realms that even the apostle Paul has never been lifted into. All for the sake of individuals, Nations, needs, cities, communities, churches. All of this is well and good but as we see a new landscape and a redefinition of everything that we hold dear, shifting in the belief systems we held onto, I want to throw out there the thought that intercession is not a life of prayer, that is not in prayer the way we know it. It is for the gifted few. It is not for praying experts, a sort of promotion up from regular prayer times. Intercession is not a ministry where we can gain a title of intercessor while the minions just go about their business because they are not serious enough about prayer or the state of their nation. Standing in the gap, the ripped and torn parts of the community whether that be spiritual or for the whole (or are both interconnected anyway?). Standing in the gap, aligning with the maligned, being the brittle stitch that may just hold something together for a fleeting moment of opportunity. Standing where there is a breach in the wall, being the only point of connection between the two parts of the wall, not just seeing the gap and praying about it. Standing in the gap where the strain on our muscles is so strong because both sides of the gap are pulling in opposite directions. Yet willing to stand to be misunderstood by both sides, compromised by both sides, viewed with hesitant suspicion by both sides. Intercession is being a mediator not a meddler. It is posting yourself right where the rip is, not wanting to yank the wall to where you are. Intercession is a life of standing in uncomfortable places not a life of prayer. It is the place where secular and sacred get so muddled you cannot see the wood for the trees. It is the place where the natural and supernatural are immersed so deep there is no such thing as an heavenly encounter or earthly one. It is the place where explosions will take place, where pressure mounts, where battles are won, where healing and recovery are released. The fact of the matter is we are all intercessors by the very fact that our feet still touch the ground while we are seated in heavenly places.
Being Torn, Being the Tear.
I am finding on my own personal journey that where I stand in the rips of life can lead to a bundle of misunderstanding, being viewed from a distance by many and guilty by association. Never fully embraced by one side because of your association with the others. No one really fully knowing who you are or what you are about. When they think they have you labelled and tied down the scenario shifts again. For those who are part of churches I may as well declare myself a pagan and a backslider. I think it would help these people if I came out of the closet and said I was no longer a believer. For those who have rejected the churches and see her as part of the empire and maybe even an adulterous, controlling, damaging system, they cannot understand why I still speak when invited and support young ‘pastors’ who are going through tough times. Standing in the rip and tear can be a painful place to stand. Those within the walls cannot understand why I associate with unbelievers and enjoy even socialising with them in pubs and on ‘their’ territory. Why I love the banter of the colleague lunch tables more than I do the prayer meetings and Bible studies. Those not yet believers cannot understand why I hold onto my beliefs and have faith and don’t swear (at least all the time) and do not sleep around. Standing in the rip and tear can be a place where you fit in but never quite fit in. Those who see the Bible as the untarnished ‘word of God’ cannot understand why I challenge Scriptures and do not take literalism as the answer to everything. Those who see the Scriptures in a lesser light do not understand why I still quote verses and stand on the message of the book. Standing in the rip and tear can be a place where you are never understood and always challenged. Those who love the heavenly encounters and glory times wonder why I do not go head over heels for angelic encounters and do not give a fig if I ever see gold dust fall or a feather given to me from heaven. They do not understand why I would rather leave a heavenly footprint on a soiled earth than leave the earth to go into the seventh heaven and wrestle with light balls all day. Those who see the glory people as too pie in the sky cannot understand why I love the glory and the supernatural and the prophetic lifestyle. Why I value these people and all they are pressing in for. Standing in the rip and tear can be a place where you belong everywhere but belong nowhere. No tribe really fully embraces you. I love the rest of God, but I want to do the stuff. I believe in grace, but probably not enough to keep up with God. I want to believe in everyone saved but do not know yet if I have the theology for it. I hate manufactured worship music but I love letting worshipful sounds wash over me. I do not believe in missions but I love connecting with other Nations and cultures. I do not regularly gather but I still believe in a gathering of some kind but do not think I have seen it yet or even know what it will look like if it does come. In fact when I look at my life I am always being torn and being the tear. My whole life is something of intercession.
I can see why nobody really wants to do this. Why God found no one in the days of Ezekiel. No one willing to be the mediator. No one willing to intervene. No one willing to be seen as guilty by association. Who wants to be called a winebibber and a friend of sinners? Who wants to be washed by harlots and yet release a word of life in a synagogue? Who wants to embrace the alien and stranger and yet come for their own? Who wants to live for what is and die for what is to come? Who wants to walk in purity and yet have dirty hands and become impure by association? Who wants to tear down while also building up? Who wants to tread on the excrement of earthen lives while having their head in the glorious places? Who wants to be all things to all men and never quite fit in with any of them? Who wants to stand in between walls that are poles apart just for the hell of it? Who wants to bring life into dead religion just for the sake of the one? Who wants to step out of the walls of dead religion just for the sake of the one? Who is going to stand in the rips and the tears of life? To me this is not a job for the professionals it is the place of real life for the living. Just by waking up and opening our weary eyes we stand somewhere. We either chose the safety of the place beyond the walls, the hidden place of religious separation and ritual, or we come and find some rips and tears and holes and breaches to join, fill , stand in. Embrace the place where we find ourselves whatever the tensions. Now that is the place of intercession and that is the place for all.